The Wisdom of Fasting Weekly
As people who want to grow spiritually, we start living from heaven now by learning to lean on the spirit, not the flesh.

The Wisdom of Fasting Weekly

by Adam Wittenberg
3/23/17 Christian Living

Why fast weekly? Can’t we just wait until there’s a crisis to fast or another special reason?

Is our need for God that great—and the coming trials so intense—that we should start prepping now?

Here’s the reason regular weekly fasting is important for spiritual growth: fasting strengthens our spirits in a way few other things can.

By denying the flesh—literally—we make room for God to fill our lives.

Laying down the legitimate pleasure and strength we gain from food shows we’re hungry for God above this world, and that’s what He desires.

As people who want to grow spiritually, we start living from heaven now by learning to lean on the spirit, not the flesh.

Here are a few of the ways fasting can fast-track us to spiritual maturity:

  • Persecution and trial is coming, but fasting helps pin our allegiance to God: “What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6).
  • We know that God will take care of us and satisfy us more than this world, since His “love is better than wine” (Song 1:2).
  • God loves our hunger. He’s promised to meet all our needs, as we seek Him first (Matthew 6: 33), and He says in Jeremiah 29:13, “you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
  • Fasting unlocks our hearts and revives our spirits, doing what John the Baptist modeled: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

Engaging the Lord in Weakness

The Lord doesn’t ask us to perform for Him, but to rather completely lay down our lives.

He meets us in the place of weakness and takes us on a journey we could never have foreseen—or accomplished—in our own strength.

God gets the glory in fasting, not man, “that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 1:29).

So why fast weekly? Is it more holy than doing a 40-day fast? What’s wise about doing this discipline regularly?

Weekly fasting builds character for the long haul. The growth may not come all at once, but will build steadily over time. While our earthly minds may think a longer fast is better, God is pleased when His servants honor Him faithfully—regardless of the length of the fast.

Fasting must be done in reliance on God, with hunger for food being submitted to Him for replacement with His presence.

Over many months and years, we will learn to crucify our flesh as part of our daily lives. That way when an urgent crisis comes—and they can come at any time—we will be like the man who built his house on the rock, rather than on sand (Matthew 7:23–27).

Building a History

Weekly fasting develops a history in God, as He works in ways small and big. It can also break off perfectionism: rather than starting a long fast and being worried about completing it, most of us can fast one day a week with little difficulty.

And even if we do struggle or give in to temptation, we can confess it, “push delete,” and start fresh that very instant, trusting that God will meet us.

The Lord promises to reward all fasting that honors Him (Matthew 6:16–18).

To start pursuing grace for fasting, ask God to help you fast at least once per week. Ask Him what type of fast to do (for example, juice, water only, Daniel fast, or one meal per day), and seek counsel from your doctor and spiritual leaders, if necessary.

Be encouraged as you build this new lifestyle. Start small, and be consistent. Pay attention to your body and spirit, and don’t quit in the struggle. Seek counsel for any ongoing challenges.

Blessings, as you gather the precious oil of intimacy Jesus described in Matthew 25:1–13.

Disclaimer: This is not intended as medical advice; please check with your doctor first if you are pregnant or have any health issues or concerns. Minors are discouraged from fasting food and should always ask their parents before doing any fasting. Consider suggesting a media fast.

For further study in this area, we recommend 7 Commitments for Spiritual Growth by Mike Bickle.

For additional resources: Read Mike Bickle’s book The Rewards of Fasting (free ebook download) and IHOPKC’s “Fasting Guidelines.” Further teachings are available on Mike Bickle’s website.

What is it that you think keeps you from fasting at least once per week?

Adam Wittenberg


    A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. He also serves in the NightWatch (overnight prayer hours) and is active in evangelism. He, and his wife Stephany, have a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.

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